Monday, June 3, 2019

What a day!

Below is my monthly message for the June 2019 edition of the MHRI newsletter, Focus. You can view Focus online at

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I’m writing this message on the heels of our most successful Research Symposium to date! We had over 1,000 MedStar-Georgetown associates, presenting more than 400 research studies, preceded by 8 pre-Symposium educational workshops and our 3rd system-wide resident research day (highlighted by 6 oral presentations from the highest rated resident abstracts). And all of that was kicked off by the inaugural partnership with Georgetown University, across research and educational domains, with a very successful Georgetown CENTILE Colloquium for Educators in the Health Professions. 

So those are the facts. I tend to be a very analytic person obsessed with data. However, words and data don’t begin to express the feeling in the room. Others, who were kind enough to send me an email, are better at expressing the feelings:
  • A++++++ event
  • Bravo! I am so proud to be at MedStar!
  • Awesome! Highlight of the year. Period!
  • What an absolutely boffo and wonderful Research Symposium.
  • There could not have been a better demonstration of the power of multiplying academic prowess with a real-life clinical healthcare machine.
  • It’s my new favorite MedStar event of the year!
  • These residents and fellows are so impressive. The quality of the research is phenomenal.
  • This is too good – I need to bring the rest of my department next year.

Yes, we want you to bring your colleagues and be ambassadors for academics across MedStar Health. Together, with our academic partners at Georgetown, we are building a world class Academic Health System that will lead the next generation of academic medicine and this Symposium brings us one step closer. Thanks to all who attended and made it possible.

And if these words don’t give you the feel, please take a look at #MedStarGTsymposium19 on Twitter or scan some pictures from the Research Symposium on my latest blog post here.

I hope you came away from the event as energized as I am with a renewed commitment to our vision of advancing health through research, education, and innovation!


Read Focus at

Friday, May 31, 2019

2019 MedStar-Georgetown Research Symposium

What a great event! Over a thousand people celebrating the wonderful work from over 400 studies!  Words don't begin to share the feeling in the room... so let take a look at some of the pictures below!
There was also a lot of activity on Twitter this year, with the hashtag  #MedStarGTsymposium19! Make sure you check those photos out too!

Main stage speakers highlighted the Academic Health System
MedStar and Georgetown are building together
Over 100 resident & fellow posters were part of the moderated poster sessions.

Keynote address by Dr. Holly Humphrey, president of the Josiah Macy Foundation
Researchers across the MedStar system & Georgetown 
connected about their work.
Residents & fellows present their work to a packed Ampitheater

Pre-Symposium Workshops

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

MHRI Associate 'Thank You' Gift

As part of research week at MedStar Health, all MHRI associates will get a small 'thank you' gift from their manager. This year, the associate engagement committee decided to go for something that is a little different and, at the same time, helps the environment!

And besides, who needs another MHRI branded coffee cup when you can have an MHRI...... wait for it....... reusable straw!

Watch this 'instructional video' to see Ashlee and Eva demonstrate how to use your MHRI straw and save the planet of all that plastic!  Happy slurping everyone!

Research Week @ MedStar Health

Every year, as the annual MedStar Research Symposium approaches, MHRI also takes a minute to recognize the work that our associates do that makes research possible across MedStar Health.

I just had the pleasure of sharing my gratitude with our managers last week but I also wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the larger research community at MedStar Health and Georgetown. The research being conducted across the entire system, and with our partners at Georgetown University, is continuing to advance health and make a lasting difference in the world of healthcare.  I could not be more proud of you and the work we do together.

On Thursday, we will have our annual MedStar Health-Georgetown University Research Symposium with over 400 research studies on display and approximately 1000 colleagues from across the system celebrating research and education. With the addition of Georgetown’s Colloquium for Educators in the Health Professions in the morning, this is sure to be an exceptional event that highlights the impact of research on our community.

If you have not already made plans to attend the Symposium on Thursday, May 30, from 4 to 7 pm at the Bethesda North Marriott Conference Center, please consider joining your MedStar colleagues from across the system to:

  • Learn about all aspects of advancing health at MedStar Health (research, education, and innovation);
  • See the impact MedStar Health is having as an academic healthcare system, living at the crossroads of academics and real-life medicine, all embedded in our community; and,
  • Share in the pride. There is no way to describe how proud you will be to be part of MedStar Health when you are reminded of the impact our research is having on our community and on the health and wellness of people around the world.

You can also join the conversation at the Symposium on Twitter! We will be live-tweeting the event with the hashtag #MedStarGTsymposium19 on both @MedStarResearch and @MedStarHealth.

I hope to see you at the Symposium and enjoy Research Week 2019!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Memorial Day 2019

This Memorial Day, we remember those who lost their lives in defense of our freedom. We honor them for their service and sacrifice.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Educating Our Community’s Coordinators

I love it when MHRI can host wonderful community research programs. 

Yesterday we hosted over 30 coordinators for a training session at our Hyattsville office on behalf of the Georgetown-Howard CTSA! The Ethics, Regulations and Study Implementation for Research Involving Human Subjects training is part of the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical & Translational Science program training series.

One highlight of the training was the blended-learning approach that included case studies and discussion that allowed attendees to stretch their brains and apply the guides for conducting clinical studies. Each study brings forward new questions. There was also an overview of the new common rule and how it relates to research and a lunch-and-learn session on Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

The day ended with a rousing trivia game to test the knowledge of attendees! Thanks to everyone who made this day happen and best of luck to those coordinators!



Monday, May 6, 2019

One Common Goal: Advancing Health

Below is my monthly message for the May 2019 edition of the MHRI newsletter, Focus. You can view Focus online at

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Why has MedStar’s annual Research Symposium grown each year to become one of the largest gatherings of MedStar associates in one place at one time? On May 30th, the 2019 MedStar Health—Georgetown University Research Symposium will return again to the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference with over 430 abstracts and case reports and over 1,000 attendees. Why has this become such a popular symposium?

Because…we are all dedicated to realizing our vision to advance health through research, educational and innovation.

Because…everyone at MedStar contributes to advancing health, regardless of your position, and we all can take great pride in learning about the wonderful projects that are improving the lives of our patients today and tomorrow.

Because…the Symposium starts off with a system-wide resident research day; we have some of the best residents and fellows in the country and their research demonstrates how they are already becoming life-long learners and will remain ‘on the cutting edge’ of a rapidly changing medical world.

Because…we have stimulating keynote speakers who inspire us (and I am excited to welcome Dr. Holly Humphrey, President of the Macy Foundation, this year).

Because…we have expanded the symposium to include Georgetown’s Center for Innovation and Leadership in Education (CENTILE), where they will host the Colloquium for Educators in the Health Professions in the morning. This is just one of many important steps we are taking to further integrate the symposium with our colleagues’ wonderful work at Georgetown.

Because…with our partners at Georgetown University, we are building a world class Academic Health System that will be the role model for others across the nation. We are living at the crossroads of academia and ‘real world’ medicine and we are making a difference!
Afraid you’re going to miss out? Don’t worry! All you need to do is register right now at

I hope to see you there!

Read Focus at

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Sharing the Importance of Clinical Research with the Community

Guest Blogger:
Eva Hochberger
Communications & Planning Manager  |  Office of Research Development, Planning & Communications
I’ve spent the last six years working for companies that support clinical research. Because of that, I may take for granted that I understand the process and impact of participating in clinical research. But experiences aren’t universal and not everyone knows about clinical research.

We shared our event experience
on Twitter @MedStarResearch
That’s where groups like Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP) and their events, Aware For All come in.

Joined by other MHRI colleagues, we were pleased to attend the Aware for All Baltimore event this week. We were on hand to talk to members of the Baltimore community about all the research that MedStar Health conducts. These conversations ranged from general information about what types of research we do to more in-depth conversations about why there are disparities in participation across different communities.

In addition to connecting with the community, MedStar was also represented on the panel presentation of clinicians. Petros Okubagzi joined, Dr. Rodrigo Garcia (EMD Serono), Mary Hesdorffer (Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation), and Dr. Fabian Sandoval (Emerson Clinical Research Institute) in discussing the importance of participation in research, the protections that are in place for patients, and what makes them passionate about their work.

It was great to be a part of such an informative and engaging event!
P.s. You can follow MHRI on Twitter @MedStarResearch

Thursday, April 11, 2019

MedStar Researcher Publishes Early Findings on Complex Care Models

Dr. Derek DeLia, Director of Health Economics & Health Systems Research at  MHRI recently had several publications that highlight the nature of healthcare economics.

Dr. DeLia was a co-author on a research study, "Association of Medicaid Enrollee Characteristics and Primary Care Utilization with Cancer Outcomes for the Period Spanning Medicaid Expansion in New Jersey", which was recently published in the journal Cancer. The study was supported in part by a Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Pilot Award from the National Cancer Institute. The research sought to examine cancer outcomes that may be affected by primary care and other outpatient care utilization for Medicaid enrollees. The findings indicated that Medicaid patients with cancer diagnosed just before and in the initial year of eligibility expansion had worse outcomes than non-Medicaid cases. Researchers discovered that more targeted strategies are needed to improve outcomes among Medicaid enrollees.

Dr. DeLia also helped author Transforming Complex Care, a national initiative led by the Center for Health Care Strategies with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  The goal of this initiative is to address the various medical, social and economic challenges that a patient with complex needs experience.  Dr. DeLia is co-author of two reports that were recently published.

“Alternative Staffing Models to Improve Care for Complex Patients in their Homes and Other Settings: Early Findings from the Transforming Complex Care Initiative” focuses on the use of community health workers to engage patients at three participating complex care programs. 

“Organizing Complex Care for Rural Populations: A Case Study of Three Montana Communities” seeks to examine Mountain-Pacific’s use of technology to improve access to health care in rural Montana.

Congratulations Dr. DeLia for your dedication and commitment to such important research!